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An Haddock
07-02-2015, 09:21 PM
I'm putting this in Sightings because the guy wasn't a bad customer per se - just... living in the 20th century.


People don't believe me when I tell them we still get customers who have dial-up internet or use Windows 98 computers.

This guy had both.


Old fellow - probably 80 or so - and his wife come in inquiring about purchasing a new computer. It seems his old one had Windows 98 and dialup, but he got something from AOL indicating their desktop software would stop working at the end of the month or they wouldn't offer dialup any more or some such thing. (my technician did most of the talking - I was just listening in from the back)


After discussing possibilities and what he needed, the fellow conceded that he would need to get set up with the big V or the big C for internet access and once he'd squared that away he would come back and purchase a new computer.

I do feel sorry for the guy in his having to deal with the two big internet providers. The part that gets me though... he would have happily kept using his Win 98 machine with dialup until the thing died.


I wish I could remember the comic strip, but I think it was Dilbert or Foxtrot where I got this quote: "Kicking and screaming will the foolish be dragged into the 21st century."

Kittish
07-02-2015, 09:28 PM
Sounds to me like this fellow was operating on the "It ain't broke, don't need to fix it" principle. And why not, if the service and the machine were adequate to his and his wife's needs? And when he got notice that one (and thus both) no longer were going to work, he set out to fix them. Your post doesn't make the guy come across as grumpy or even clueless.

An Haddock
07-02-2015, 10:30 PM
Sounds to me like this fellow was operating on the "It ain't broke, don't need to fix it" principle. And why not, if the service and the machine were adequate to his and his wife's needs? And when he got notice that one (and thus both) no longer were going to work, he set out to fix them. Your post doesn't make the guy come across as grumpy or even clueless.


???


I never said he was grumpy. I specifically said I posted it in Sightings because I wouldn't consider him an SC. He was pleasant enough. Just behind the times.


I would go as far as to consider him clueless due to the types of infections he could get from such an archaic operating system as Win 98. Microsoft doesn't even support XP any more and as such anyone using that or an older operating system takes a massive risk if hackers should find a new back door or exploit. It doesn't matter if you have antivirus or other protection.

Slave to the Phone
07-03-2015, 05:28 PM
I agree that its always a shocker to see tech that old still being used. I also agree with you about the risk involved with an unprotected machine...however he most likely didn't use it for banking or paying bills. At a guess, I'd say that was his email machine.

wolfie
07-04-2015, 03:06 AM
People don't believe me when I tell them we still get customers who have dial-up internet or use Windows 98 computers.

I'd believe you - partly because I'm sending this from a Windows 98 computer on dialup internet.

Monterey Jack
07-04-2015, 03:40 AM
Technology can never be "outdated"...so long as it fits the specific needs of the user. I'm sure there are plenty of older people still watching VHS movies on their tube TVs.

RichS
07-04-2015, 04:57 PM
Technology can never be "outdated"...so long as it fits the specific needs of the user.

That's true - At home, I have an older system with Win98SE to play DOS and older Windows games. Yes, I know about DOSBox, but it's not the same...:)

At work, there's a VM set up before I came in with Win2K running a library database (software is old, and library is cash-strapped).

wolfie
07-05-2015, 02:57 AM
Technology can never be "outdated"...so long as it fits the specific needs of the user.

Definitely. A couple examples:

I carry a drill in my truck (in case I need to replace a "scrubbed off" clearance light on a trailer). What kind of drill? An "eggbeater" hand drill. I'd only be drilling 2 holes through relatively thin metal, can't rely on having 120V available, rechargeable batteries tend to go flat if left sitting for too long, and air drills kept in a non-temperature-controlled environment tend to have their motors rust out. The "eggbeater" may be primitive, but I know it will work when I need it.

Since before Desert Storm (early 1990s), elements within the USAF have been trying to get rid of the A-10. It's a subsonic aircraft which is only capable of close air support missions, and these elements want to assign the task to a more versatile plane such as the F-15, F-16, or F-35. Meanwhile, the Army is screaming to keep it in USAF inventory (due to an interservice agreement, the Army is prohibited from flying fixed-wing aircraft). Even though the A-10 only does one mission, it does it better than any other plane in USAF inventory - because it was designed for that particular job. It can fly slow enough that the pilot can identify friendly vs. hostile troops in close proximity and attack only the hostiles, and is able to withstand 20mm anti-aircraft fire (the air low over a battlefield is frequently full of steel). It might be primitive, and has been out of production for roughly 30 years, but it's still the best plane for the job.

XCashier
07-06-2015, 03:25 AM
Technology can never be "outdated"...so long as it fits the specific needs of the user. I'm sure there are plenty of older people still watching VHS movies on their tube TVs.
They might be able to watch tapes, but they wouldn't be able to get actual TV, since there's no more analog signal, and the tube TVs can't get digital.

I see folks driving around in cars from the 1950s or earlier, even cars from the 1920s sometimes! Granted, that's a little different, they're beautiful antiques kept in showroom condition, but still. And more than once I've had customers asking me if we carry parts for their fifty-year-old (or older) sewing machines. (No, we don't, but there's a sewing machine/vacuum cleaner repair place nearby they might have better luck at.)

katzklaw
07-06-2015, 03:43 AM
so i just got off work, where two of the 3 computers in the office still run win XP... and walked past my 1978 Ford truck and sat down in my 1993 camper, and started thinking about the 1964 Airstream i used to own and the 1979 bus i currently own and am turning into a motorhome...

yup. definitely a member of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school. XD

cindybubbles
07-06-2015, 07:15 PM
I live in a 3-bedroom condo that was built in the 1970s. I'm currently thinking about my Sega Genesis that I won back in 1993, the DOS games that I used to play and software that I used to compose my music.

I've had at least three mobile phones before getting my first smartphone. My first one didn't even have pictures; it was just a fancy version of Zack Morris's brick cell phone.

I still have a large tube TV in my living room; the other two are a small LCD TV and a large HD TV.

My parents are in their late 60s / early 70s and I'm in my mid-30s. Yet another combination of the times exists in my house.

An Haddock
07-07-2015, 02:37 PM
So... everyone is angry because I pointed out someone's computer is outdated?


I still have a 1982 stereo with a turntable for my record and 8-track collection. I drove a 1973 Challenger for 5 years but traded it in for a new car in 1998 because I couldn't afford the upkeep. My old apartment had cheap 70's wood paneling and I loved it because it reminded me of my parents first house. I still play Civilization 1 and Blood on Dosbox.

Now if we're done with the vintage pissing contest, it's all irrelevant because anyone running a computer with an outdated operating system is taking a huge risk in getting worms and viruses. Especially if it's an office that has to work under the HIPAA laws. The worst thing a classic car has to worry about is rust.

katzklaw
07-07-2015, 03:03 PM
hah. i wasn't angry at all. just commenting randomly about the 'tech isn't outdated' line.

i havn't seen win98 in forever. XD that poor guy is gonna be so lost with win8

NorthernZel
07-07-2015, 08:32 PM
i havn't seen win98 in forever. XD that poor guy is gonna be so lost with win8

Nah, if someone just points him to the "Desktop" icon in the lower left corner of the screen, he'll get a Win7-ish desktop that resembles the Win98 userface.

Heck, IIRC the 8.0 version has even the good old "grassy hill" background picture as default. I don't remember whether the 8.1 version offers it (we went with the settings set by Lenovo, until we replaced it with one of our own pics).

EDITED TO ADD: The newer MS Office programs and all those tabs, on the other hand...

XCashier
07-08-2015, 03:24 PM
hah. i wasn't angry at all. just commenting randomly about the 'tech isn't outdated' line.
I wasn't angry either. I think everyone was just saying that some stuff considered "outdated tech" is still quite usable, sometimes even better than the newer stuff.

You are absolutely correct about the computer technology, though, especially considering all the malware out there.

Estil
07-08-2015, 03:39 PM
I have to use a CRT TV for my retro video games because the flat panel ones have annoying lag in the controls. Not to mention the newer flat panel TVs no longer have S-video :(

And yes I would love a nice Windows 95 based rig to play classic DOS/Windows games...ideally one that upon boot up I can use Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. Best of both worlds you see.

raudf
07-08-2015, 09:58 PM
Back in MW repair, I saw my first ultrasonic TV remote. Lady brought it in for a tune up, because one of the metal bars had slid out of place. We had a tech who loved the older TV sets, so she brought it in to see if he could get it working again. I asked her why she kept the TV, an old HUGE cased picture tube TV. This was back when CRTs were still a thing and flat screen referred to the glass of the picture tube being flat, instead of the normal rounded. Big screens were the 46" rear projection TVs. None of this LED/LCD that you see nowadays.

She had gotten that TV as an anniversary present from her husband and when she lost him, the TV reminded her of all the pleasant times they'd spend watching a show together. Sure, a newer TV would have been lighter, for a CRT. Sure, the remote would require have more bells and whistles, but they wouldn't have the memories. I'm hoping she passed away before it did.

Still, it was fascinating seeing an ultrasonic TV remote!

protege
07-10-2015, 08:36 PM
The worst thing a classic car has to worry about is rust.

Not necessarily. Some of the skills needed to work on/restore them, are rapidly becoming things of the past.

For example, when I bought new tires for the MG awhile back, it took quite a bit of calling around to find a shop that could balance them correctly. You need a lug-centric (on the MG's Rostyle wheels, they're centered by the lugs, not the hub) adapter for your spin-balance machine, or at the very least, a bubble balancing stand. Either the shop didn't have the adapter or had sold off their "bubble" stand. Not surprising really.

Same with the windshield. I've read that it's a bitch to fit new glass to an MGB GT, simply because of how the car is designed. Most glass shops won't even touch them--they'll refer you to a specialist instead. Too many seals, plus the chrome surround, and they freak out that they'll break it.

dawnfire
07-11-2015, 10:40 AM
I have to use a CRT TV for my retro video games because the flat panel ones have annoying lag in the controls. Not to mention the newer flat panel TVs no longer have S-video :(


I still use A CRT TV in my bedroom . I do most of my viewing on it.

lordlundar
07-11-2015, 04:09 PM
I doubt anyone was angry but geeks are a competitive sort and one-upping is a big part of it. :p

That said, some of the most antiquated equipment I've seen tends to come from large businesses, largely because they refuse to upgrade until the maintenance costs well beyond what it would cost to upgrade the entire business. (well, minus the central offices of course, those are upgraded almost immediately) There are still some sites that I've gone to still running XP.

Trixie
07-11-2015, 05:04 PM
I have a Win 98 machine that still works better than the Win 8 one I'm using now. I was using it a few years back when my Vista machine wasn't working to check email and stuff while it got fixed. If I could figure out a way to get my saved stuff off it I'd definitely hook it up again to play old games. And fill it up with that!

Yfandes
07-11-2015, 06:05 PM
Our office is still on about 50% XP machines. We are replacing them slowly, and I've told people that if they can't even be bothered to read and respond to email, there is no point in them even having a computer assigned to them.

Chromatix
07-11-2015, 07:30 PM
I'm typing this on a MacBook Pro - sounds up to date, right? This is, however, a 2007 model, and I bought it practically the same week it became available. Even so, it's still my newest Mac and the machine on which I get most of my work done. One of the fans needs replacing (again), and it's on at least its third battery, but it's considerably easier to fix such things than on the newer models - and it does run the latest version of MacOS X quite happily.

It is not, however, the newest nor the oldest machine I own and use regularly.

The newest would probably be the high-end gaming machine I built about 3-4 years ago. It's still fairly decent, but it's beginning to struggle with some of the newer games I've tried, so a new graphics card would be justified for it, and I think some extra RAM would suit it too. The rest of it is just fine as it is - up to and including the installation of Windows 7, rather than 8-point-whatever. I have no intention of upgrading to Windows 10 - ever.

At the old end of the scale might be the 1996 Pentium-MMX that I regularly use for exposing performance problems in my Linux kernel-hacking endeavours. Or the 1987 Mac IIcx that I need to get around to replacing the capacitors in, but which is (surprisingly) capable of getting on the Internet. Or the 1984 BBC Micros (three of them) that I occasionally get out and play with.

blondescales
07-13-2015, 04:53 AM
My parents still have their Tandy 1000 and a Radio Shack color computer. Both worked the last time they were plugged in and turned on a few years ago.

protege
07-14-2015, 05:39 AM
That said, some of the most antiquated equipment I've seen tends to come from large businesses, largely because they refuse to upgrade until the maintenance costs well beyond what it would cost to upgrade the entire business. (well, minus the central offices of course, those are upgraded almost immediately)

Much of that is due to accounting. Most businesses claim depreciation as an expense...so they'll hang onto old crap as long as they can. It doesn't matter if it's held together with duct tape and bailing wire. As long as it still works and they can get a tax break, they'll do it.

For example, we had a damaged laptop. The boss' daughter had dropped it, cracking the screen and damaging the touchpad. Instead of simply throwing it out, I was told to "do something with it." It still kind of worked--moving the icons to the right got around the screen issue. Hooking up a "real" keyboard and mouse took care of the other problem.

Needless to say, that piece of crap didn't come with us when our company moved. Seems it got "lost in transit" :rolleyes:
:lol:

Midnight
07-14-2015, 06:06 AM
I'm a manager at GameStop and a good portion of our clientele are still a good 10 to 15 years behind the gaming times. At least in my area.

We get customers mad that console games now require internet, hard drives and/or large installations (that's what you get for cheaping out and buying that shitty 4gb 360 or 12gb PS3 last year), and no longer offer much for split screen multiplayer because the companies that make them want you to play online or network for multiplayer. Heaven forbid you get the guy interested in a PS4 or XBO only to get the "oh" reaction when he realizes it won't work on his old tube TV after you tell him they're hdmi only systems. This despite the fact most manufacturers stopped making SD tube sets after about 2006.

Or the guy ranting about games not being made for his 360 he bought a few years ago any more despite the fact his system has been out for almost a decade now and console change overs tend to happen every five to six years or so and have been that way since the Atari days. There's a reason they don't make PS2 or original Xbox games anymore too.

Don't get me wrong, I love my retro consoles and still buy games for them, but I at least know when technology has moved on.

Aragarthiel
07-14-2015, 09:24 AM
I have a Gameboy Pocket and the original Gameboy Advance, and both still work perfectly (though the battery cover on the Advance is taped on). However, we also have a 3DS and Xbox One, so we're not completely behind the times.

I also have a PS2 that we found inside a couch we got from my mother-in-law's coworker (it was less shady than it sounds, trust me). I was cleaning underneath it one day when I felt something heavy hanging from the bottom. Pulled the cushions off, found a hole in the fabric underneath, dug around inside... and surprise! It still turns on but doesn't read disks, and sadly is probably only worth anything as spare parts.

lordlundar
07-17-2015, 11:42 PM
Much of that is due to accounting. Most businesses claim depreciation as an expense...so they'll hang onto old crap as long as they can.
:lol:

True enough. The bank I deal with for example are JUST getting around to upgrading to Windows 7. And no, we (as I'm actually on the project) will not be done anywhere NEAR the Win 10 release.

Racket_Man
07-18-2015, 06:59 AM
Much of that is due to accounting. Most businesses claim depreciation as an expense...so they'll hang onto old crap as long as they can. It doesn't matter if it's held together with duct tape and bailing wire. As long as it still works and they can get a tax break, they'll do it.

:

Do the ACRS (from the big "Regan tax reform) depreciation timetables still apply??????

And even if they do not (meaning they choose to not use the accelerated tables), all they have left "salvage value" left unless they declare a LONG life for an asset which means the depreciation claimed for each year will be so small and not really worth it.


Just going from my accounting classes 25 years ago.

protege
07-18-2015, 12:35 PM
And even if they do not (meaning they choose to not use the accelerated tables), all they have left "salvage value" left unless they declare a LONG life for an asset which means the depreciation claimed for each year will be so small and not really worth it.

It's not about the money. No, it's about the "principle" :rolleyes:

For example one of our system databases was done in Access...and was never updated. Sure, the pretty "front end" (basically an overlay done in Visual Basic) had some of its fields rearranged, and some of the text boxes enlarged, but that was it. 17 years on, the thing simply wouldn't work with Windows 7, no matter how you tried. Sure, it would open, but searching records was a pain. Slow as hell...simply because it wasn't designed to work with 7, or even Vista for that matter.

Both our 3rd party tech and I told my boss that he was going to have to upgrade. Microsoft really doesn't support Access as much now--they've moved onto SQL instead, and unless he upgrades, there's no way his database (complete with 17 years of trading data) would still be supported in the future.

Naturally, we got chewed out. Hey, it's not our fault you chose to run an old program and never updated things. It's not our fault the conversion/redesign is going to cost as much as a new Porsche. Nor is it our fault the crap server you're running cannot handle it.

BPFH
07-20-2015, 04:29 PM
Do the ACRS (from the big "Regan tax reform) depreciation timetables still apply??????

For existing assets that started depreciating under ACRS, yes. For new assets, no--you need to use MACRS instead.

I know far more than anyone without a formal tax/accounting background should about that stuff... grr... I hate depreciation conversions... :P

Estil
07-21-2015, 06:08 AM
I'm a manager at GameStop and a good portion of our clientele are still a good 10 to 15 years behind the gaming times. At least in my area.

...
Don't get me wrong, I love my retro consoles and still buy games for them, but I at least know when technology has moved on.

Like I said before I have to use an old fashioned CRT to avoid lag...thankfully the WiiU (and PS3) will still work on it (once I get around to picking one up; I do have SEVEN consoles hooked up right now I'd like to get caught up on first) and as for the PS2, they kept that and the PS1 going for 11-12 years each, that's pretty darn good. Though my slim PS2 that I bought back in 2004 when they first came out finally crapped out on me last year and I had to buy a new one (yes you still can on Feebay).

I just hope you don't get people asking for Mario on Xbox or Zelda on PS4 :rolleyes:

protege
07-27-2015, 03:19 PM
I know far more than anyone without a formal tax/accounting background should about that stuff... grr... I hate depreciation conversions... :P

You too? I have an accounting background...and I hate those conversions :p

But seriously, my boss is of the type that if he can get some benefit--even a tiny benefit--out of keeping old equipment, he'll gladly do it. Never mind that the equipment in question was crap to begin with, or will (and usually does) fail at the worst possible time.

For example, one of our old servers was cheaply built, and couldn't handle the load we put on it. I actually had to run it with the side panels off so it wouldn't overheat :eek: I tried to tell him that the resulting dust would be bad for the components, but he wouldn't listen. Naturally, the heap died not long after...and I got ripped a new one :(

At least I got my revenge. When we got a new server (this time with upgraded cooling capacity), the old one met its demise. That is...I hauled it to the scrappie, and they crushed it into a cube :devil:

BPFH
07-28-2015, 04:22 PM
But seriously, my boss is of the type that if he can get some benefit--even a tiny benefit--out of keeping old equipment, he'll gladly do it. Never mind that the equipment in question was crap to begin with, or will (and usually does) fail at the worst possible time.

I used to work for a place that makes tax and accounting software, and your boss sounds like the sort that kept us in the business of making MS-DOS software (yep, I did say MS-DOS) until IIRC 2004, and some of our competitors making it for even longer than that (some of them were still doing so when I left in 2008).

At least I got my revenge. When we got a new server (this time with upgraded cooling capacity), the old one met its demise. That is...I hauled it to the scrappie, and they crushed it into a cube :devil:

:devil: I felt the same way about the crap printer I threw out at work. At least I didn't get in trouble for that one, since the boss knew it was crap, and wanted it gone as badly as I did, if not more.

Ironclad Alibi
07-28-2015, 09:16 PM
At least I got my revenge. When we got a new server (this time with upgraded cooling capacity), the old one met its demise. That is...I hauled it to the scrappie, and they crushed it into a cube :devil:

:devil: I felt the same way about the crap printer I threw out at work. At least I didn't get in trouble for that one, since the boss knew it was crap, and wanted it gone as badly as I did, if not more.

Time for this good old scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8).

EricKei
07-28-2015, 09:55 PM
IA - We all knew that was coming, so thank you for stepping up to the plate ;)

I just hope you don't get people asking for Mario on Xbox or Zelda on PS4 :rolleyes:
What? Why not? They're all Nintendos! :devil: (former 'Stopper here, myself)

protege
07-29-2015, 03:05 PM
Time for this good old scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8).

Truly one of my favorite scenes! Baseball bats are nice. But, I prefer to use my 40-pound fence maul to beat the shit out of things. Sometimes, I'll mix it up with one of my other tools. That would be the crude hammer I found in Grandma's barn. Someone welded a railroad spike onto a length of pipe. I have no idea what that tool was "originally" used for. But, it's great for punching holes in sheet metal and/or plastic :devil: